The name Grimshaw is Welsh in origin. There are two historical derivations of the Grimshaw name. The first is the Celtic word "grim" (or "grin") that signified the sun. The second is a Viking word "Grim'rs wood", which referred to the Viking god Odin.
The family first lived along England's border with Wales in Grimsargh (or Grimsagh or Grimshagh), northeast of Preston in Lancashire County. Little is known about the family members until Walter D. Grimshaw.
In the first United States Census, taken in 1790, there were two Grimshaw males identified as "heads of households." In 1810, there were 14 Grimshaws, in 1850 there were 67n, and by 1870 there were 165 Grimshaws listed.
The direct link to the Bulloch County Grimshaws goes back to James F. Grimshaw, who was born in 1800. Most records indicate he was born in Manchester, England and then immigrated to New York in 1826. He shortly thereafter then moved to New Orleans.
James married Mary Julia Berthoud while in New York. One of their sons, Henry Grimshaw, who was born in New Orleans in 1849, served as a Second Lieutenant in Company H. of the Seventh Louisiana Infantry during the Civil War.
He was captured at the Battle of Rappahannock Station in Virginia in 1863, sent to the "Old Capitol Prison" in Washington, D.C., then transferred to "Johnson's Island Prison" in Sandusky Bay, Ohio, and finally released after taking an "Oath of Allegiance" in 1865.
He married Martha Eliza "Lida" Travis on Dec. 9, 1868 in Mobile, Ala. Henry and Lida had nine children, at least one of whom spent time in Bulloch County. Henry Babcock Grimshaw was born in Choctaw County, Ala., on July 20, 1872, and was known as Harry by his family in order to distinguish him from his father.
Henry soon quit using the name Henry altogether, going by the name Harry Grimshaw. After the family moved to Santa Ana, Calif., Harry returned to Troy, Ala., and began working for the Alabama Midland Railway as a fireman. He left here to take a job with a succession of railroads in Georgia.
He spent two years working as Superintendent of the Savannah & Statesboro Railroad, which ran from Statesboro to Savannah. He was so well-respected man in Bulloch County that an S&S railroad station and its community was named after him.
Grimshaw was located to the southeast of Statesboro, between the community of Pretoria Station and the town of Brooklet. He spent much of his time working for the Savannah, Americus & Montgomery Railroad, which eventually became part of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad.
In 1905, Mr. Grimshaw assumed the position of superintendent for the Savannah Division of the Seaboard Air Line. At first responsible for all trains operating between Montgomery, Ala. and Savannah, Harry Grimshaw's control of the railroad was extended in 1910 to include the Seaboard "Main Line" from Columbia, S.C., all the way to Jacksonville, Fla.
Grimshaw was a member of the Savannah City Board of Aldermen, the Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 231 of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Richard Nunn Consistory No. 1. Of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of the Scottish Orient of Georgia, and the Savannah Lodge of Elks, No. 183.
Roger Allen writes a genealogy column once a month. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org